Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Antibiotics May Raise the Risk for Kidney Stones

Antibiotics May Raise the Risk for Kidney Stones

Meanwhile, those who take sulfa drugs are twice as likely to develop kidney stones than those who don't ingest the medicine. The theory is that the drugs wipe out some of the gut bacteria which breaks down oxalate, which is the key component in kidney stones.

A study published Thursday in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that taking any of five types of oral antibiotics was associated with a significantly higher risk of developing kidney stones - mineral and salt deposits that form in the kidneys and must be passed through the urinary tract.

"The overall prevalence of kidney stones has risen by 70 percent over the past 30 years, with particularly sharp increases among adolescents and young women", said Gregory E. Tasian, a pediatric urologist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and leader of the study. This can also get a solution to reduce the risks of kidney stones as well. But prior research has cited a possible association with disturbances in the bacterial makeup (microbiome) of the intestinal and urinary tracts, which is often sparked by antibiotics.

"Antibiotics have saved millions of lives and are needed to prevent death and serious harm from infections", he said.

It's estimated that about 30 percent of antibiotic prescriptions are inappropriate.

"We're dealing with a risk-benefit relationship, and we want to make sure that antibiotics are prescribed without unnecessarily increasing adverse health outcomes", he said.


Tasian says, there is no certified way to reduce the risk of conditions related to antibiotics intake today but there will be a solution very soon.

"Whenever I get a pain in the stomach, I think, 'Oh god kidney stones again, '" she says.

While scientists have known about the changes antibiotics have on the human microbiome - crucial to our day-to-day health - this is the first time that a disruption in the microbiome has been linked to the occurrence of kidney stones.

Now, that the link has been established between antibiotics and stones. They analyzed the previous exposure for nearly 26,000 patients who suffered from kidney stones, along with 260,000 control subjects. Risks were increased 2.3 times, 1.9 times, 1.7 times, 1.7 times, and 1.3-times for sulfas, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, nitrofurantoin/methenamine, and broad-spectrum penicillins, respectively.

The risk for kidney stones was greatest within three to six months following an antibiotic regimen, before ratcheting down over the ensuing three to five years.

Conclusions Oral antibiotics associated with increased odds of nephrolithiasis, with the greatest odds for recent exposure and exposure at younger age.

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